Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Commentator

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl is a former journalist whose work has appeared in publications including the Boston Globe. She lives with her husband and two children in Plainfield, NH.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Unlike many who flock to ski resorts, I’ve always balked at the price of lift tickets as well as the crowds. Memories from childhood sitting on a chairlift while getting battered by the wind, and then ice skating down a steep slope also haven’t helped. So early in adulthood I learned the joys of cross- and back-country skiing, which allow me to fly through the woods under my own power.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Seven women – current and former students – have filed a class action lawsuit for seventy million dollars in damages against Dartmouth College for sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination. They claim the college did not take appropriate action regarding complaints against three professors in the psychological and brain sciences department.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Well, it’s two weeks before the midterm election, and some of our yard signs have disappeared. Again.

I can always count on Stephen Colbert to put my brain’s inner musings to words.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

I lived on Puget Sound in the seventies, where I saw only rain clouds for months. We celebrated in April when the sun broke through and Mt Rainier reappeared.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

I have friends in liberal bubbles - like Brooklyn, Boston, and Berkeley - who claim they’ve never personally met a Donald Trump supporter. I tell them that in my neighborhood, Trump supporters are as close as the school bus stop.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

When I was a high school student in suburban Connecticut in the late eighties, I came across a letter on our family kitchen table one evening about an upcoming school board election.

Ira Schwartz / AP

Recently, as my eight year old son was walking through the family room, I heard him chanting something unusual: “Build a Wall! Build a Wall!”

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl / VPR

At a time when the U.S. is tending to look inward with proposed walls and tariffs, kids across the country have instead been looking beyond our borders.

My daughter’s in seventh grade - the age of pre-algebra, dances, and crushes. Once it was also the age of many newlyweds and it startles me to realize that in New Hampshire, legally speaking, it still can be.

Up until recently, I had only known the National Rifle Association as the sporting turned Second Amendment lobbying group that has fought against proposed gun restrictions, including ones for the AR-15, the assault-style rifle used in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left seventeen students and teachers dead.

It seemed like an uncontroversial move when the Lebanon, New Hampshire, school board voted last fall to ban faculty, students, and members of the public from bringing firearms onto school property, into school vehicles, and to school events on any property in the city.

For weeks, I slogged my way through the almost seven hundred page American Ulysses: A life of Ulysses S. Grant, one of the two recent big biographies of our 18th president, of whom I knew embarrassingly little.

For the past two decades, one of the highlights for kindergarten through third grade kids at the Plainfield, New Hampshire elementary school – and one of the biggest banes of some parents – is a research assignment called Project Sleuth.

For kindergartners it starts out relatively simple and easy: they research themselves, reporting on their heights, weights, favorite foods, and past-times.

It was a warm April afternoon in nineteen ninety nine when I first heard about the Columbine massacre in which two Columbine shooters killed thirteen before taking their own lives. I was about to teach a yoga class and my yoga training hadn’t prepared me for how to respond to an event like this. So my students and I simply sat on our mats and talked.

In nineteen eighty nine, after living in Washington State, Ohio, Virginia, and Connecticut, I moved to New Hampshire to attend college.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

Just as my family departed for our annual camping vacation on Cape Cod, we learned that wreckage of the World War Two era US Warship Indianapolis had finally been found.

According to the New York Times, New Hampshire, where I live, is second only to West Virginia for the highest per capita rate of deaths from opioid addiction.

My state representative Lee Oxenham recently asked me to sign a petition calling on the town select board to commit to the goals of the Paris Climate Accords. I gave it a quick look.

I’ve done a little time traveling, courtesy of The New York Times. The paper recently crunched age and diversity data from the US Census Bureau, combined the result with population projections, and compared 3,000 counties with the country as a whole, over time.

Pages